Easy to make homemade turkey gravy has the best flavor from your Thanksgiving turkey pan drippings! Learning to make the perfect gravy has never been simpler and will add a special touch to your holiday mains and sides.
Table of Contents
Best Turkey Gravy for Thanksgiving
Enjoying a luscious homemade turkey gravy brings the perfect balance of flavor to roasted turkey and mashed potatoes. All you need is 3 ingredients including a roux using butter and flour (or cornstarch) and the drippings from a cooked turkey or turkey breast.
When you start making it from scratch, you’ll notice a difference in flavor and the ability to regulate the amount of sodium is also a plus. Trust me, once you make the best turkey gravy from scratch, you’ll never go back to store-bought again.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make an easy turkey gravy from drippings, all you need is a few pantry staples.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Butter: I use unsalted butter so I can adjust the salt after the drippings have been added.
- Flour: You can use flour or cornstarch. This will help thicken the gravy.
- Turkey Drippings: I love using the drippings from the turkey, however if it didn’t produce a lot I will add chicken stock or turkey stock until I have what I need.
Gravy too thin? If you like a thicker gravy but have added too much liquid, transfer 1/4 cup liquid from the pan into a separate bowl and whisk in an extra Tablespoon flour. Then add that mixture back into the gravy and whisk until combined.
Gravy too thick? If the gravy is too thick, whisk in more liquid.
How to Make Turkey Gravy
It’s so simple and flavorful to make your very own gravy.
- Strain. Take every last bit of pan drippings from cooking your turkey and pour through a mesh strainer or fat separator. If you don’t have 3 cups, add some chicken broth until you do.
- Melt. In a large saucepan, melt butter.
- Whisk. Whisk in flour until it has formed a paste (also known as a roux). Cook until smooth and creamy. Don’t add any seasonings yet.
- Thicken. Slowly whisk in the drippings, alternating whisking and adding liquid. Bring to a light simmer until thickened. The amount of added liquid will depend on your consistency preference.
- Season and serve. Season with salt and pepper or any additional seasonings as well as Worcestershire sauce, if desired. Serve warm and enjoy over, well, everything!
- In order to make a smooth silky gravy, not only do you want to strain your drippings but you want to make sure it’s hot before adding it to the butter and flour. That will allow for easier blending and much smoother consistency.
- Taste as you go. The seasonings can make or break your gravy! Season to your liking but making sure to test it along the way.
- Once you get this easy turkey gravy recipe down, you can then start to get creative with your additions. Use the turkey giblets for delicious giblet gravy and add fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, sage.
- Add some heavy cream for an even creamier taste experience.
- Add a smoky flavor to your gravy by using the drippings from a smoked turkey.
You sure can! Simply use cornstarch in place of the flour and you should be good to go.
Storing & Freezing
Storage: This gravy will keep in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days.
Freeze: Because this is not a cream-based gravy, you can absolutely freeze it for up to 3 months without it separating. Freeze in individual portions and only thaw what you need!
Repurpose your gravy leftovers! Add additional flavor by adding it to one of these leftover turkey recipes.
More Holiday Sides
Homemade Turkey Gravy
- 3 cups pan drippings (can subsidize with chicken broth)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour or cornstarch
Optional seasonings: Salt & Pepper, Worcestershire sauce
- Pour the turkey drippings, getting every last drop and loosening any browned bits, from the roasting pan into a fat separator, or through a fine-mesh sieve. If you don't have 3 cups, add chicken stock until you do.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until thickened and formed a paste. Cook 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy, but not browned.
- Slowly whisk in the meat drippings. Alternate whisking and adding liquid until you reach the consistency you like. Bring to a light simmer. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until it has thickened. If you'd like a thicker gravy, add less liquid. Add more liquid for a thinner gravy.
- Season with salt and pepper (or additional seasonings), to taste. Add 1 to 2 dashes of Worcestershire, if desired. Pour into a gravy boat. Serve warm over turkey and mashed potatoes.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!